2022 Walking Challenge

In an effort to get a bit fitter this year, I’ve set myself a challenge to go on at least one walk in a new location each week (in addition to my usual dog walking and neighbourhood strolls). I’ll keep adding new walks as I do them. If you’d like to find out more about why I’m doing the challenge, you can read my blog post about it here.

Walk 40 - Outskirts of Golf Club, Middle Ridge

I headed off down the southern end of Rowbotham Street with the St Barts walking group. Lovely views across the escarpment. Then we skirted the perimeter of the Toowoomba Golf Club, eventually ending up at Mackenzie Street and back to the church down Stenner. One of the longer walks we’ve done, but always good to head down some different streets. (12 Apr 2022)

Walk 39 - Stuart Street, Harlaxton

We parked at Horn Park (see Walk 36), but this time headed down Stuart Street towards the Kate Street Park. Some lovely scenery on the western side, as the footpath goes past Horn Park, then by a cow paddock towards the rear of Downlands College, and onto the Kate Street Park, which has a playground and some lovely old trees. A nice restful stroll. (10 Apr 2022)

Walk 38 - Smithfield Homestead and Park

Smithfield Homestead in Panda Street, Harristown, is a beautiful historic home that was built in the 1890s. When I first moved to Toowoomba in 1989, it was a restaurant and I remember taking my parents there a couple of times for special occasions. It hasn’t been a restaurant for some time, and I’m not sure if you can go inside and have a look around. However, it’s still worth seeing from the outside, and Smithfield Park is right across the road. It’s a lovely park, with beautiful trees, flowers, and playground. After walking round there, we headed down some side streets. It’s a lovely area. (6 Apr 2022)

Walk 37 - Rangeville Park and Surrounds

Another outing with the St Barts walking group. This time we started at Aromas Coffee Shop at High Street Plaza, then headed through some suburban streets and back through Rangeville Park to the coffee shop. It’s a lovely park with views over the valley to the south. A great place for picnics, with a fancy playground. And if you need a real coffee, it’s a hop, step and a jump to Aromas! (5 Apr 2022)

Walk 36 - Horn Park, Harlaxton

Horn Park is a spacious off-leash park that borders Stuart Street. The top part is fairly level, but there’s a path that winds down a hill. Lots of open space and trees in the park itself, though the path is mainly out in the open. As fate would have it, I needed a loo by the time I got down the hill and there isn’t a public one in the park. Rather than walking back up to the car, I decided to head off down Margot St towards the Northlands Shopping Centre. It was further than I thought. Phew! Then decided to walk back up North St to the car rather than backtracking, but it was a more gruelling uphill walk than I thought it would be. Dogs and I were exhausted by the time we got back to the car. But if you stay in the park, it’s great! (2 Apr 2022)

Walk 35 - Cypress St Park and Surrounds

Another Rangeville excursion with the St Barts walking group. This time, we went through Cypress St Park (shown in the photo), then continued down some streets and along the outside of Hancock St Park, which is currently regenerating. There are certainly lots of lovely places in Rangeville. (29 Mar 2022)

Walk 34 - Logandale Estate, Cornubia

We spent a lovely weekend with friends who live on a housing estate in Cornubia, between Brisbane and Redlands. Managed a couple of walks while I was there. Lovely leafy neighbourhoods that border a golf course on one side and the Logan River on another. Spacious parklands, and lots of interesting things to see, including a street library, a bee hotel, and lots of beautiful gardens. A very pleasant and peaceful place to walk. Only available for residents and their guests though, as there is security on site. (26 Mar 2022)

Walk 33 - Ballin Park, Centenary Heights

I’ve driven down Ballin Drive many times, but didn’t realise there was a fantastic park on the other side of the trees. Ballin Park runs along Amanda Drive in Centenary Heights, and includes a wonderful off-leash dog park, as well as a path that runs the full length of the park, past beautiful trees and open spaces. A lovely, peaceful place. Will definitely be bringing the dogs back here for a road test. I’m sure it will gets the paws-up. (20 Mar 2022)

Walk 32 - Black Gully Park, (Sections 3 and 4)

I’d walked section 2 of this park back on Walk No. 19, but I brought the dogs back to try the next section. At the top end near Holberton St, there are lots of facilities, including adult exercise equipment, state-of-the-art children’s playground, picnic shelters, BBQs, and a toilet block with a disabled loo. Then there’s a path that winds it’s way through lovely parkland. It’s fairly level for the first part, but then goes downhill a little. It goes through to Mort St, but we didn’t make it all the way on this occasion as my older dog was tiring. Will definitely come back another time to finish it off. Feeling really blessed to live in a city that has such lovely parks and gardens. (19 Mar 2022)

Walk 31 - Sorrento Housing Estate, Kearneys Spring

This is a relatively new housing estate that I have driven past many times. However, I’ve never walked in before. I was pleasantly surprised to find a path that went from one end to the other, with views across to a wetland park and sporting ovals. A little uphill, but a pleasant walk. (18 Mar 2020)

Walk 30 - Snapdragon Street Park, Middle Ridge

Another outing with the St Barts walking group. This time we went from the church up to Moncrieff Close, through Snapdragon Street Park, and back a different way past Grinke Drive Park. I’m certainly finding a lot of parks I didn’t know about. Lovely sunny day for a stroll. (15 Mar 2022)

Walk 29 - Nelson-Ramsay Walkway

I’ve driven by this path a million times, but have never stopped to walk along it. Well now I have! It’s next to a section of road where Nelson St, on the southern outskirts of town, turns into Ramsay St. The fenced section is only about 600 steps, but it’s a lovely shaded walk, with views across bushland. Holly gave it the paws-up. We extended our walk by going further down Ramsay and into some side streets. It’s amazing how many new things you can find in your own backyard. (13 Mar 2022)

Walk 28 - Sondergeld Court Park and Surrounds

Well, you might have noticed that this photo does not show a park. I really did start in Sondergeld Court Park, Kearneys Spring, and it was a nice park with a children’s playground and gazebo. As it didn’t take long to walk around it, I ventured into the surrounding streets and came across this little lighthouse in someone’s front garden. It looks like it’s been made from three upturned flowerpots, and I thought the ingenuity of the gardener was worth recording. There’s always something interesting to see if you trundle down a street you’ve never walked down before. (11 Mar 2022)

Walk 27 - Glenvale Park, Harvey Rd

This is a great family park near the Toowoomba Showgrounds (not to be confused with the park of the same name in Hampton Rd). It has lots of facilities, including a tennis court, basketball hoop, cricket nets, state-of-the-art playground, a small cycling track for young children, covered picnic shelters and BBQs. There’s also a toilet block with a disabled loo. It doesn’t take too long to walk around. A creek runs from the park for several blocks east, and I thought I would walk along there, but couldn’t find a path. Maybe that’s a challenge for another day. (5 Feb 2022)

Walk 26 - Near Hayden St East and Charker St

For this walk, I parked near the intersection of Hayden St East and Charker St, which both come to dead ends. Then I set off to try to find a bushland park marked on my map. I didn’t make it to the park (I think it was down a hill and through long grass), but I did see some lovely scenery in the area. I walked around for a bit in different directions. I’ve seen kangaroos near here when I’ve been on my bike, but a bit too late in the morning for them. I’m so lucky to live near so many beautiful rural and bushland areas. (2 Mar 2022)

Walk 25 - Rangeville Streets via Leslie Park

Another walk down Rangeville Streets with the St Barts walking group, but a different route. This time through Leslie Park, down Pigott Drive, and back along Rowbotham Street. Some beautiful old trees in Pigott Drive. A lovely pleasant area. (1 Mar 2022)

Walk 24 - High St Plaza to Garnet Lehmann Park

This was another neighbourhood walk with the St Barts walking group. I love going down streets I haven’t been before, because there’s always something interesting to see in people’s gardens. This colourful pot plant display caught my eye, though wasn’t as unusual as the four skeletons I saw sitting outside another house. It wasn’t even a dead-end street! We had coffee at Aromas when we got back to the Plaza. Very civilised.  All walks should start and end at a coffee shop. (22 Feb 2022)

Walk 23 - Adams Park, Glenvale

This is a neighbourhood park that runs alongside Hampton Rd. There is no path, but a fairly flat surface along a grassy area. At least I thought it was flat until my foot found a depression in the grass and I fell over. No damage, except to my pride. Should have had the trekking poles with me!  Lots of birds amongst the trees, including a kookaburra. A nice, gentle walk. (21 Feb 2022)

Walk 22 - Mt Peel Bushland Reserve

Mt Peel is only about 5 mins drive from my house, but I didn’t realise until recently that there are a heap of walking trails in the reserve. For this walk, I took part in the charity event ‘Hike to Heal‘ with some friends. The aim was to help raise awareness of mental health issues, while also raising funds for suicide prevention programs. There are five lookouts in the park, and we opted for the three easier ones. Lots of changes in scenery, vegetation, wildlife and more. You could spend hours walking the different routes. Will have to try the harder walks when I’m a bit fitter. It was also the first outing for my new trekking poles that a friend gifted me. Very helpful on the sloping, uneven ground. Feeling blessed. (19 Feb 2022)

Walk 21 - Garnet Lehmann Park to South St

For this walk, I started at the top end of Garnet Lehmann off-leash park, which I have visited many times with my dogs. It’s a beautiful bushland park that has a walking trail around a creek. The new part was that I then followed the pathway up to South Street and looped back. Lovely peaceful walk. I could have continued on further but my older dog started putting the brakes on. Next time! (12 Feb 2022)

Walk 20 - Menzies St Park, Middle Ridge

This was a smallish neighbourhood park that packs a lot in. There is a walking track, BBQs, picnic shelters, playground, and some dog agility equipment like the poles shown here. Doesn’t take too long to walk around, but you can do a few laps and enjoy the community spirit. A lot of thought has gone into this little beauty. (10 Feb 2022)

Walk 19 - Black Gully Park (Section 2)

This is a beautiful off-leash park that is right in the middle of suburbia. It joins up with other sections of Black Gully, though the gully was little more than a trickle when we were there. It’s also a playing field for Disc Golf. I’d never heard of it before, but apparently you hire a disc and you have to throw it into these baskets from set distances. There are many placed in that section of the park, each one being a different par. Will have to bring a friend next time and have a game. My dog Holly gave this park the paws-up! (5 Feb 2022)

Walk 18 - Riethmuller Park, Glenvale

This park runs the length of Silky Oak Drive. Suburbia on the eastern side, and bushland and rural scenes on the western side. A little traffic noise at each end, as it runs between two main roads, but peaceful for most of its length. A good place to walk the dogs. (4 Feb 2022)

Walk 17 - Hodgson Vale Walkway (South)

For this one, I headed to the Lion’s Park at Hodgson Vale, just south of Toowoomba along the New England Highway. It’s a great park with all the facilities you’d expect (even a skate park). However, I headed across the side street and took the path south past the convenience store. A lovely rural area, with cows, geese, a creek and lots of different types of vegetation. A little uphill slope in parts, but not too bad. Another place I’ll have to bring the dogs. (2 Feb 2022)

Walk 16 - Nielsen Park, Middle Ridge

Nielsen Park is a bushland park right in the middle of suburbia. There are six entrances, with houses all around, but you could be a million miles away once inside. Fairly level tracks, though some are a bit narrow. Probably good to go with a friend, as it is quite bushy. And be sure to remember where you’ve parked, as there are no ‘You are Here’ signs. A lovely peaceful spot. I’m adding this one to my list of favourites. (31 Jan 2022)

Walk 15 - Newtown Park

Newtown Historic Park is also the home to the Queensland State Rose Garden. The roses are lovely, but I was surprised how big the rest of the park is. Lots of trees and plenty of open space and paths for walking. There was even a memorial to animals who’ve served in wars and never returned home. Will definitely be going back to this one and will bring my dogs next time. (27 Jan 2022)

Walk 14 - Kearney Street Walkway

A street near me comes to a dead end. But I’ve only recently discovered that if you walk just beyond the barrier, there is a paved walkway that goes from Kearney Street to Kearney Street South. It’s not that long, but has lots of different kinds of vegetation and a little creek. The only problem is that the first bit is very steep. I ventured down and across to the other side, but going back up the hill on my way back nearly killed me. The next day, I woke up with a sore back and knees and had to make a physio appointment. The setting was nice and peaceful, and I’m glad I did it once, but I probably won’t be returning to this one – LOL (27 Jan 2022)

Walk 13 - Highfields Falls Bushland Park

As the name suggests, this park has a waterfall, but don’t expect Niagara. It’s more like a trickle. Still a beautiful place to walk, with lots of tracks running through different types of vegetation. Spent a lovely 1.5 hours here with friends. It had been raining the night before and was still overcast, which made things a little slippery. However, it also kept the temperature down. A lovely peaceful spot. I’ll do this one again. (26 Jan 2022)

Walk 12 - Hartmann Bushland Reserve, Rangeville

For my third outing with the St Bart’s walking group, we headed to Hartmann Bushland Reserve at the corner of Alderley and Rowbotham Streets. There’s a bush track running through the centre, and a mown section around the perimeter where you can also walk. Part of it is being regenerated at the moment. A serene place for a stroll, right next to suburbia. (25 Jan 2022)

Walk 11 - Boyce Gardens and Rainforest, Mt Lofty

Boyce Gardens and Rainforest was established in 1929 and built up by the Boyce family over 60 years. It’s now held in trust by the University of Queensland, and is open to the public. A lovely, peaceful spot, with dozens of varieties of plants and trees over six hectares. Would be difficult for those with mobility devices, as it’s on sloping ground and there are some uneven paths and stone steps without railings. However, I enjoyed exploring the grounds. (24 Jan 2022)

Walk 10 - Postle Street, Outskirts of Toowoomba

Postle Street, on the southern edge of town, bends at an odd shape. I set off down the hilly side and almost died walking back up (Phew!). Then walked along the more level stretch. Some lovely views across farmland, with hills in the distance. Saw galahs and cockatoos, and heard kookaburras up in the gum trees. (22 Jan 2022)

Walk 9 - Carly Hibberd Park, Kearneys Spring

Carly Hibberd Park is a small suburban park that commemorates the life of a Toowoomba cyclist who was tragically killed while training and competing in Europe at the age of 26. One side of the park borders a housing estate and the other side borders bushland. Only a short walk, but some lovely scenery overlooking a valley on the bushland side. (21 Jan 2022)

Walk 8 - Ballin Drive, Centenary Heights

My second outing with the St Barts’ walking group, from the church and then along Waterbird Drive and Ballin Drive. The first part backs onto the Waterbird Habitat, and the Ballin Drive section backs onto parkland. I’ve driven down here many times, but never walked. I saw many more things that you don’t fully  appreciate when driving. We’re so lucky to have so much beautiful parkland in Toowoomba. (18 Jan 2022).

Walk 7 - Squirrel Glider Walk, J. E. Duggan Park

Well, it didn’t take me long to get back to J. E. Duggan Park, but this time I did the more challenging Squirrel Glider Walk. It’s uphill for part of the way, but fairly gradual. It had rained the day before, so a little slippery, but some lovely bushland. Tip of the Week – Take a friend with you, like I did, so she can break through the cobwebs ahead of you. (17 Jan 2022)

Walk 6 - Federation Park, Vale View

This is a little gem of a walk I didn’t know existed. It’s about 6 km south of Drayton and looks just like a rest stop when you’re on the road. But extending out behind the rest area is a 919 m paved loop called the Prime Minister’s Circuit. It goes through some open land, then through the bush down to a little creek and back. My dogs Molly and Holly loved it. My booklet of walks said that it would be suitable for people with mobility aids, though there are a couple of steep sections that could be tricky. I’m sure I’ll be back here for more walks soon. (16 Jan 2022)

Walk 5 - Lake Annand

Lake Annand, along Mackenzie Street, is a popular spot for families. Although I’ve been here a couple of times, I’ve never walked around all the paths. I continued on the East Creek pathway to James Street and the Information Centre. Lovely and restful walk past willow trees beside a little creek. (15 Jan 2022)

Walk 4 - J. E. Duggan Park, Rangeville

For my first walk with the St Barts’ walking group, we went to J. E. Duggan Park at Rangeville. I can’t believe I’ve lived in Toowoomba for more than 30 years and didn’t know this little gem existed. As we’d already walked down from the church, we only did the easy circuit at the top, but it was lovely. They have a sensory walk, with some of the information boards in Braille. Some of the path is also suitable for wheelchairs, with assistance. This photo shows a view of Table Top Mountain from the lookout. I’ll definitely be coming here again. (11 Jan 2022)

Walk 3 - Thiess Park, Drayton

Thiess Park at Drayton has a nice gentle walking loop that starts near a children’s park and winds down past a creek and over a couple of little footbridges. It’s also close to a fully-fenced off-leash dog park, so it’s a great place to bring the furry friends. (10 Jan 2022)

Walk 2 - Drayton and Toowoomba Cemetery

This might sound like an odd place to do a walk, but it’s an historic cemetery established in the 1850s. Lots of graves from the 1800s, as well as more recent ones. It’s on a huge piece of land, so I only walked down two of the avenues this time. Lots of scope to come back for more walks and take some time to read more of the old headstones. You can read more about the history of the cemetery here. (5 Jan 2022)

Walk 1 - Toowoomba City Golf Club

I’ve never played golf here, but I discovered there’s a walkway that runs right alongside the golf course. Lovely gentle walk down towards the clubhouse, but uphill on the way back. Phew! Maybe I should do it the other way round next time. I even came back the next day to play mini golf. I was more than 20 over par, but it’s a start. You can read more about the mini-golf facilities here. (3 Jan 2022)